Vegetable and Bean Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup) (we used yellow onion)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 bag (1 lb.) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
  • 1 can (15 to 16 oz.) red beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 to 16 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups Green Giant Niblets frozen whole kernel corn (any brand you choose to use is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) (we used ¼ teaspoon)

Directions

  1. Take a 4 ½- to 5-quart Dutch oven out and pour the oil into it, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss in the garlic and onion, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onion has softened.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients into the Dutch oven, stirring to combine. Let the mixture come up to a boil, turning the heat down to medium-low afterwards. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and let the chili cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring now and then during that time until the chili is hot and the vegetables feel “crisp-tender”.

This is a hearty, filling dish to enjoy when the weather’s cold. We would suggest perhaps trying a frozen vegetable mixture that doesn’t involve carrots though. While the broccoli and cauliflower had a nice texture to them, the carrots got a little mushy unfortunately. Despite the carrots though, this is something we’d gladly make again !

This recipe came from Betty Crocker.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Green Giant or Betty Crocker.

Take care everybody !

Skillet Rice and Beans with Corn and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or thawed frozen corn (we used thawed frozen)
  • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 12 ounces grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 5 scallions, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a 12-inch nonstick skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss the corn in and let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the kernels start to brown and pop. Take the corn out of the skillet and place it in a small mixing bowl. Season the corn with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour another tablespoon of oil into the skillet. Once the oil’s hot (which shouldn’t take long at all), add in the onion and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir frequently for 5 minutes or until the onion’s softened. Add the garlic, chipotle, cumin, coriander and oregano to the skillet, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Mix the beans, broth and rice into the skillet, waiting for the mixture to come to a simmer afterwards. Put a lid on the skillet, turning the heat down to low afterwards. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, stirring occasionally (we stirred every 3-5 minutes).
  3. While the bean & rice mixture is cooking, take a large mixing bowl out and add to it the tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, lime juice and the remaining tablespoon of oil, stirring to combine. Take a bite and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once the liquid’s absorbed and the rice is tender, take the skillet off the heat and sprinkle the corn over the top of the rice mixture. Put the lid back on the skillet and let it sit for 5 minutes. Take the lid back off and fluff the rice with a fork, taking a bite afterwards to see if you want to add any salt or pepper. Sprinkle the tomato mixture over the rice and beans and you’re ready to eat !

Serves 4 to 6.

The bean and rice mixture is already tasty, the smoky heat of the chipotles comes through in it but it becomes even more delicious with that tomato mixture, which brings a really nice fresh and bright flavor to the dish. This is definitely a tasty and filling dish that we’d be happy to have again in the future !

We got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote America’s Test Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

Corn and Black Bean Salad with Garlic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, husked and trimmed, kernels cut off the cob afterwards
  • Salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (we used ½ teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 4 large or 8 small radishes, trimmed and chopped (we sliced ours)
  • 4 cups cooked or canned black beans (two 15-ounce cans) (beans should be drained and rinsed if using canned black beans)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes, halved
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional) (we didn’t use it)

Directions

  1. Put a large skillet on the stovetop, setting the heat to medium-high. Preheat your broiler, making sure the rack is 4 inches from the heat.
  2. Once the skillet’s hot, add the corn in, sprinkling salt in afterwards. Stir the corn around now and then for 5 to 10 minutes or until the corn looks like it’s lightly charred. Place the charred corn in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Take a rimmed baking sheet out (we lined ours with aluminum foil) and place the chicken on it. Rub the chicken with the oil, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper.
  4. Stick the chicken under the broiler and let it cook for 2 to 5 minutes, flipping the chicken over and letting it cook for another 2 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (we had to cook ours for longer than 10 minutes total).
  5. Add the radishes, beans and cilantro to the bowl with the corn, squeezing the limes over the mixture afterwards.
  6. When the chicken is done cooking, take it out from the broiler and rub the raw garlic all over the chicken.
  7. Toss the bowl mixture together and take a bite afterwards, adding more seasoning to taste. Divide the corn mixture among 4 plates or bowl.
  8. Slice the chicken, laying it over the corn mixture and top with a dollop of sour cream if you’re using it.

This is a delicious salad you could enjoy for lunch or dinner ! We didn’t really taste the garlic in the chicken but the meat did have a nice level of heat to it. We enjoyed the soft and crunchy textures in the corn and black bean mixture. While the chicken does make this feel like a complete meal, we think we could enjoy this just as much with tofu or some other meat substitute and it would make it a vegan dish (as long as you’re not using the sour cream) !

We got this recipe from “How to Cook Everything Fast” by Mark Bittman.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote “How to Cook Everything Fast”.

Take care everybody !

Garlicky Bean Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (we only used 2 Tbsp.*)
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (we minced our garlic)
  • 2 (15.5 oz. each) cans cannellini beans, drained
  • ½ cup chicken broth (used Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth)
  • Salt (used kosher salt)
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 2 cups store-bough salsa verde (used La Victoria Thick’N Chunky Salsa Verde Medium that we pureed**)
  • 1 ½ cups shredded pepper jack cheese

Directions

  1. Turn the oven on and set it to 375 degrees. Take a 9 x 13-inch baking dish out and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray, leaving the baking dish off to the side for now. In a medium-sized saucepan, pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into the skillet and set the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, toss the garlic in and stir constantly for 2 minutes or until the garlic just starts to look golden. At this point, add the beans to the saucepan and continue stirring for one minute, stirring the broth in after that minute passes. Season with salt and start mashing the beans until they’re softened, about 7 minutes. Let the bean mixture cool a little.
  2. Take a baking sheet out and line it with paper towels.  In a small skillet, pour the remaining oil in. Once the oil’s hot, place a tortilla in the oil, cooking it for 3 seconds per side, placing it on the paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. After the oil’s drained, place around ¼ cup of the bean filling on a tortilla, rolling it up to enclose afterwards, placing it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  4. Once all the tortillas are in the baking dish, pour the salsa over them, sprinkling the cheese over the salsa afterwards. Stick the dish in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the salsa is bubbling.

*We decided not to fry our tortillas in oil and instead heated them up in a dry skillet over low heat. We heated them up one at a time, and it still made them nice and pliable without worrying about excess grease and saved on cleaning time !

**Mommy has no problem with the consistency of the salsa straight out of the jar but I don’t like my salsa having any remote chunkiness so we pureed the salsa and measured out 2 cups afterwards.

The garlic flavor in the bean filling comes through but doesn’t overwhelm the dish. The salsa adds such a wonderfully bright acidic flavor to this dish and the cheese is nice and gooey. Because the beans are the filling for this, you do feel pleasantly full after 2 enchiladas.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Swanson or La Victoria salsa.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 (15-ounce each) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (we used Bush’s brand)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • ¾ cup (3 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (we used pepper Jack cheese)
  • ¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped peeled mango (about 1 medium) (we went with the 1 ¼ cup measurement)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 (2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • 6 green leaf lettuce leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take a medium-sized bowl and add the black beans to it, mashing it with a fork (we mashed them until they looked like refried beans). Mix in ½ cup cilantro and the following ingredients: cheese, panko, ground cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, chopped jalapeño and egg whites. Take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil, spraying the foil with cooking spray afterwards. Shape the bean mixture into 6 (½-inch thick) patties.  Place the patties on the lined baking sheet, sticking the sheet in the oven afterwards for 20 minutes, carefully flipping the patties halfway through.
  3. Take another medium-sized bowl and mix the following ingredients together in it: the remaining cilantro, mango, shallots, lime juice, avocado and minced garlic. Take each patty and place it on a bottom bun, topping each one with a lettuce leaf and 1/3 cup of mango salsa, placing the top bun on afterwards.

We loved this burger ! The patty itself has a little bit of heat to it. It’s tastiest when you can get the mango salsa in a bite with the patty. The lettuce is a nice touch (although we do wonder if they simply called for lettuce to help keep the mango salsa from spilling everywhere). The whole burger, toppings and all, is a great example of how tasty veggie burgers can be.

We got this recipe from Cooking Light.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Bush’s or Cooking Light.

Take care everybody !

Slow Cooker Bourbon-Peach Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 3 center-cut bacon slices, chopped (we used Wright Thick-Cut Naturally Hickory Smoked bacon)
  • Cooking spray (we used nonstick cooking spray)
  • 2 (15-oz. each) cans unsalted* cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (we used Bush’s brand)
  • 2 (15-oz. each) cans unsalted* pinto beans, drained and rinsed (we used Bush’s brand)
  • 2 ripe peaches (about 1 lb.), peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups) (we bought enough peaches to ensure that we’d get 2 cups worth rather than just buy 2 peaches)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup organic ketchup
  • ½ cup bourbon (we used Jim Beam)
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (we used 3 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet’s hot, toss in the bacon, stirring it around now and then for 4 to 5 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Once crispy, take the bacon out of the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined  plate.
  2. Spray the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the bacon, beans and remaining ingredients into the slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  3. Put a lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Keep the lid on until you’re ready to eat.

Serves 12.

*We used the regular version of the beans instead of the unsalted version.

Mommy and me were split on this dish. She really liked the Backyard Barbecue Beans while I liked this version more. This is definitely saucier than the Backyard Barbecue Beans. It’s really good warm or cold (it’s not as saucy once it’s chilled). You definitely get sweetness but the taste of the vinegar comes through and you get some smokiness as well. It’s not until the end of the bite that you get just a little heat as well.

We got this recipe from Cooking Light magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Wright, Bush’s, Jim Beam or Cooking Light.

Take care everybody !